A superb day below the Antarctic circle on the National Geographic Resolution began at 0400 after a call from the bridge to alert me to the beautiful light and gorgeous mountain reflections on the water as we transited “The Gullet,” a narrow passage between islands in Marguerite Bay. On a Zodiac cruise after breakfast, we enjoyed sunny and calm conditions with great wildlife viewing of a flock of Antarctic shags in particular. After lunch a visit to Jenny Island allowed us to spend time at the southernmost haul-out of some very charismatic, noisy (and smelly!) elephant seals. A short walk to stretch our legs provided stupendous views of the mountains surrounding Marguerite Bay.
National Geographic Resolution
Morning light brought with it a fantastic surprise. Killer whales were sighted early, and an unexpected wakeup call brought everyone out of bed around 6:30. We were treated to nearly an hour of killer whale fun. These were Type A killer whales that specialize in predating on marine mammals. As the dark of night set in, the National Geographic Resolution left the Drake Passage behind and headed into the Beagle Channel. As the ship approached land, we began to see a change in the bird life that surrounded the ship. Large sea birds, like the royal albatross, began to fade away. We began to see more cormorants and land birds. Everyone gazed out the windows, keen to see trees again. It was a wonderful end to a fantastic New Year’s trip!